Bride-to-be Diary: Invitations!

charlieBride-to-be Charlie is in the final run up to her big day in September, eee! In the coming months she’ll be sharing some of her planning with you, via the all new feature – bride-to-be diary!  This month she’s talking all about the invitations. Be sure to follow the blog to keep up with all her details! :)

Hello everyone! We’ve recently been printing our invitations, and if there’s one thing that throws up a lot of questions it’s wedding invitations. To invite or not to invite? Buy or DIY? UHU or Pritt Stick?

Our invitations proved to be a real labour of love (it doesn’t help that we are both perfectionists!), at one point I thought they would never be finished but they are, and we have started receiving RSVPs which is the most exciting thing to happen this year!

Bride-to-be-diary: Our finished invitations

Our finished invitations

As you probably know I belong to a few wedding planning groups and something that comes up often is invitation drama: families insisting on certain people attending, brides unsure whether to invite so & so and who they’ll end up offending. We have been quite lucky in this respect, because we are paying for everything ourselves we haven’t had to bow to any family pressure over who or who not to invite. The only thing my Dad asked me was whether we were inviting his parents! Our budget has also stopped us from going overboard and we are only inviting close family and friends to the ceremony (and maybe just one or two who we think would make it more fun!) and venue numbers have stopped us from going overboard in the evening too. For those who are confused over who they should be inviting I came across this on a blog the other week and thought it might be helpful:

Bride-to-be-diary: Invite chart

 Source: www.ecw-weddings.co.uk, originally from Brides magazine

Once you are past that and know who you are inviting another question I have seen come up several times is: “What information should I include?” Now being the queen of Too Much Information I had to order extra card to include all the information that was VITAL for our invitations and couldn’t possibly have been found with a quick google search (not even that google map we included, obviously).

So here are a few things that I and some of my wedding buddies have included in our additional information:

Venue restrictions: Now these won’t apply to everybody but we decided to put in our invitations that Cardiff Castle does not allow confetti or rose petals in order to stop people from wasting their money.

Map & Directions: When I told my granddad that we were getting married he asked me to make sure that I gave him a map as he hasn’t driven to Cardiff for many years, so we spent time adapting a google map and writing directions and decided to put them in all of the invitations and then found out my granddad has decided to take the train. Ah well.

Hotel Information: Again this won’t apply to everyone but we have reserved rooms at a preferential rate for our guests and have added the booking information to the invitations. Some girls I know have included a list of hotels in the area.

Dress Code: Now I haven’t added this into our invitations, I am one of the many brides out there just trusting (perhaps foolishly) that none of our guests will turn up in jeans. I did love what my friend Karen put on hers though, her dress code is simply: “To the nines”, amazing!

Wedding Website/App info: We haven’t done this but I know it is increasingly common. I have just taken all the information that I could have put online once and printed it off on paper over 30 times, a sensible choice?

Gift List: This is one thing that can cause hours of agonising, it feels rude asking for gifts but if you don’t put it in then you will have about 90% of your guests asking what they can get you! I think the difficulty now is that most couples already live together by the time they get married so they don’t need the traditional kettle, toaster and pots & pans. It is getting more and more common to ask for money instead of gifts and this is what is making brides (and grooms) feel awkward. I did feel really cheeky putting it in ours but then I remembered how I felt when I received my last few wedding invitations with the same thing in and I was just glad that I could give the b&g what they really wanted. There are a few ways of doing it: some couples put in cute little poems which can take the edge off the whole asking for money, some just put in a straight to the point polite little note which in my opinion works just as well. We have put in a little note and a link to our Honeyfund page, a good way of asking for money but actually making the guest feel like they are buying you an ”item”.

Another thing we have done is ask the guests to arrive at a specified time half an hour before the ceremony. The reason for this is that with civil ceremonies (I’m not sure whether it is the same for religious) the registrars like the bride to arrive around ten minutes early so that they can do the pre-ceremony bit and I don’t want guests still arriving while this is going on as I will have nowhere to hide!

We have also asked guests to include on their RSVP (which seems to be getting increasingly common) a song choice so that we can make sure our dance floor is not empty, I’m looking forward to seeing what suggestions we get! We’ve already had a couple of crackers!

If you can think of anything I’ve missed I would love you to comment, even if it is too late for me!

Charlie x

17 thoughts on “Bride-to-be Diary: Invitations!

  1. I love this post! I have been needing some detailed info for what to do with our blooming invites. Working out the wording is bad enough! And your invites are stunning!

    Keep up the good work Charlie!

  2. Holler Chazza-babe!

    Your writing makes me lol. I loved your invites and thought for DIY they were totes professional. I am def going off kilter with a non trad approach.

    I was scared about the family pressures to invite so i broached this months in advance of getting engaged and started getting inside my parents head so they would have clear expectations. The luck of having an older sister marry before you.

    Can’t wait for the next post!

    • Thanks Sazza! Glad I make you laugh :D

      Hmm a very sensible approach to get in their heads pre-engagement! Love it!

      Thanks for the love :) x

  3. Oh Charlie, you know how much I LOVE a feather!!!! :-)
    Fab post as always.

    As for our invites, I included loads of detail along with invite & included website, but so far I think only 1 couple has been on there!!

    We also added a dress code, nothing too strict just ‘Dress to Impress’
    As our venue’s a cocktail bar we thought it would be nice for people to get dressed up & those who recognised the art deco theme of invite have already started to look into 20s inspired options!!!

    xx

    • Thanks Rebecca! That’s partly why we didn’t do a website, we knew a lot of our guests probably wouldn’t look at it!

      If I was going to your wedding I would DEFINITELY be there in full 20’s get up! :) x

  4. Great post Charlie,
    and great bride, giving all your guests all the information they could possibly need! It saves answering all the same questions again and again!
    Being a wedding stationer and one who provides a personalised wedding web page (shameless plug, I know) the only thing I think you might of missed out on is information/directions for those not traveling by car (like your Granddad), or some local taxi numbers (assuming you’re not right in the middle of the city of course).
    We also do a fun little meet the wedding party where you can have pictures of all the special people in your bridal party and introduce them to all your guests before the big day (but this is just a luxury rather than a practicality)!
    You can check out a sample page here http://www.whitecrafts.com/brideandgroom/

    Looking forward to the next post!
    Happy Planning!
    Kel

    • Thanks Kel, good to hear a professional’s perspective! We did in fact add the train station on to the map and with the venue being right in the city centre and most of our guests coming from a distance we didn’t feel the need to put taxi no’s but that is excellent advice for other bride to be’s!

  5. We made all our own invitations (which was a mission but so worth it :) ) they were completely non traditional but people loved them :) We had a wedding website to direct everyone to as we didn’t want to spend a lot of money printing out all the information, and it also meant people could RSVP online saving themselves a bit of time and effort!

    We still had some people who didn’t bother to RSVP tho, which absolutely did my nut in ;) x

    • Haha Sarah that’s very common from what I hear! I have an unwritten rule- no RSVP no food!

      I have seen loads of gorgeous non-traditional invitations which made me question our choice but I think it’s fitting for the venue. Will probably go non-trad on evening ones as a compromise :) x

  6. Hello Charlie,

    A lovely post as always, I too always look forward to reading your blog as you make me laugh too!!
    Having been a recipient of your beautiful wedding invitations, I can vouch for how natural
    and well thought out they are, but packed full of all the information that the guests sometimes do not think of till the last minute. You and Mark have done a good job, and they are personal to you. I also loved the ideal of everyone choosing a song for the dance floor. (Hope mine gets picked!!!).
    I look forward to your next post, and you should feel pleased with how well you have planned your wedding. xxxxxxx

    • Ah thank you! I’m glad you liked the invitation! You picked a brilliant song so I’ve no doubt it will feature :) xx

  7. Charlie this is great! We had a nightmare with the guest list, I’d have loved to have read this a year and a half ago! You should be so proud of your invites too, you’ve done an amazing job both!

    We slaved over a lot of our wedding touches but I just didn’t trust myself to do the invites justice so we hired the amazing Old Black Hen who are Cardiff based. Although we didn’t make them we still felt like we played a part in creating them because they involved us so much in the design process. As a wedding gift they even blew one up for us which is now hung on our bedroom wall :-)

    Ohhhh as stressful as it was I want to do it all again! Enjoy every mintute Charlie! x

    • Aw thank you Sophie, and what a lovely idea to have one of your invitations blown up! With hindsight we may not do it again given the chance, we thought it would work out cheaper but the cost of printer ink saw to that! Although the control over content and the satisfaction at the end made it worthwhile :) xx

  8. Helpful post, Charlie! I was just wondering how you decided on the formality of your invite. I noticed you’ve used your full name- something my mum is pushing me to do. From my perspective, my parents are the only people to have used my full name for roughly 20 years (and therefore I associate it with being in trouble!) – I’d much prefer to be ‘Cath’ on the invites. What led you to choose your full name?

    • Thanks Cath! To be honest it was Mark more than me who went down the formal full name route, I wanted to put Charlie but seeing it in print I agreed it probably best. It was Charlie on the RSVP though, and will be on the evening ones!

  9. Pingback: Real Wedding: Charlie & Mark's Castle Wedding by Maria Farrelly - Cwtch The Bride

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